Monthly Editorial – The 12 Days of Yule and December’s Content

Hey Inkblotters!

As we welcome in the final month of 2014, we also say hello to the festive season once again. Though Christmas films seem to be on all year round these days, the season doesn’t quite start until December for me – and I expect it’s the same for most of you. But before this turns into another one of my regular tangents on why Christmas cards are stocked in retail stores from August, or why there’s always one kind of person who puts up their decorations in the middle of October – sad, but true – here’s exactly what we have planned for December’s content.

Given it’s the last month, we wanted to end on a positive note. It’s been a great year for our literary magazine and we wanted to share that with content surrounding the theme ‘hope’. Jumping straight in, then, we have Rae-Chan’s short HHC entry ‘Ignite’ for publication on the 5th, with poetry from Blue-Eyed Devil on the 10th and a gorgeous poem from Ashcloud entitled ‘A Star is Born’ for Christmas Eve. There’s also short fiction incoming from Ricardo and, hopefully, some interesting HHC entries on the 30th too.

This brings me swiftly onto the fabulous Half Hour Challenge theme we’ve got for December. As per tradition, The Inkwell admins run something a little special for members during the festive season. In previous years we’ve had some great entries, so for this year we’re hosting the ’12 days of Yule’. With 12 themes available – all which correlate to Yule or Yuletide – forum members may pick a theme and write their entry, submitting them before the end of the month. For non-members of our forum, feel free to view the themes, here, and choose one of your liking to submit in an email to us – you can find all rules for submissions here.

So that about wraps my little editorial up for this month. Have a wonderful Christmas, and I’ll be back for the new year with lots of sparkly new content to share. Again, to all our readers, followers – whether you’re a new follower or old – and to all our superb contributors thanks for the awesome 2014. 🙂

– Colette (aka Silver), Inkblots Editor

Featured Image // Caitlin Childs

Monthly Editorial – NaNoWriMo, Bonfire Night And November’s Content

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Are you heading to a Bonfire/Fireworks display this month? Image // Aff Photography

Hey Inkblotters,

Welcome to National Novel Writing Month once again! This is the second time (I think) Inkblots has celebrated NaNoWriMo – so we wish all those who are participating in the event lots of luck! Do let us know if you are giving it a go this year in the comment section below. 🙂 Personally, I’ve yet to have a crack at it, though I assume I may do when life gets less hectic!

Aside from NaNoWriMo, we’ve got lots of content to offer this month under the theme of “Light”. An easy theme choice this month, due to the annual celebration of Bonfire Night from the thwarting of the Gunpowder Plot on the House of Lords in 1605. Tying in with fireworks and bonfires, the theme will also give our readers some light – excuse the pun – relief from October’s scare-fest theme of fear. Hey, sometimes it’s hard to refuse the need to be punny funny – oh, see?

With that said, content has had a slight change in publication dates for this month. Whether or not we’ll keep this format going forward is under consideration, but it does allow ample time for each piece to headline our mag for four to five days. So, on the 5th is Rob’s HHC ‘Coach’ written on behalf of last month’s HHC theme which was pumpkin. It’s a great little short, and we’d expect no less from the flash fiction expert. On the 10th, we’ve got an awesome copy-change poem from our very own Lilith, as well as some short experimental fiction from Terrestris Veritas and lyrics from x3naurus on the 15th and 20th respectively. Finishing up on the 30th is a poem from Blue-Eyed Devil named ‘Little Candle’, it’s a real delicate treat and perfect for the arrival of the Christmas season. And of course, there’s always more to come.

November’s Half Hour Challenge theme is currently running under the theme of Spark. We’re beginning to tie in our monthly HHC themes with the current Inkblots theme so as to allow for more cohesion and less confusion for our readers.

And to briefly touch on one more point before I check out for the evening, Inkblots Magazine has managed to reach 700+ followers in the past month, which is absolutely fantastic. When I started this literary mag, I never thought it would reach those numbers, but here we are. Thanks go out to all our readers and followers and, of course, our authors. Whether you’ve only been featured here once, or multiple times, we love your work and love working with you!

Have a great Bonfire Night, guys!

– Silver, Inkblots Editor

 

Monthly Editorial – October’s Content Gets A Little Spooky For Hallowe’en

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Time to do some carving? Image // Andrea Vergani

Hey Inkblotters!

Welcome back to the monthly editorial post – we’ve only been away for a month, but it’s surprisingly felt much longer. Maybe it’s the routine and the great comfort it brings when sharing some fantastic content with our readers. Either way, I’m very happy to be back writing, editing, and covering all sorts of things for magazine content.

Late summer has closed its doors and a new autumnal breeze has swept across Britain, making the tawny leaves hit your boots and probably your face. Autumn is delightfully pretty, but it’s also messy – there’s nothing worse than wet leaves sticking to your hair, specifically if it’s already curly and tangled. I’m not here to whinge, though, as it’s the start of a very spooky month here on Inkblots. With the arrival of Hallowe’en, my Pagan roots strengthen and begin to welcome in the new Pagan year. It’s out with the old and in with the new. I even find time to start carving a pumpkin for the evening celebrations!

Given the time of the year, October’s content theme surrounds itself with the idea of fear. And we’re kicking the month off with the winning Fiction Frenzy entry. As many of you will know, in conjunction with our sister site The Inkwell, we ran a writing competition throughout July and August with two themes: Carnage and Virtual Reality. We had some truly wonderful entries, with three in particular making the final shortlist. But there could only be one winner, so it was with great joy we awarded the Fiction Frenzy Winner title to Magnificent Mayhem for her horrifying tale “Rabid”. It will be published on October 5th, so make sure you check back to read it.

For the rest of the month, we’ve got poetry from Ashcloud on the 8th, a great HHC short from our veteran forum writer Rob, as well as a lovely twist on the Red Riding Hood fairytale by Bandit Queen. On Hallowe’en itself, we may have a spotlight special for stand-out HHCs under this month’s new theme: Pumpkin. So if you’d like to get your piece into the spotlight on the 31st, make sure you send us in your HHC entry. All details for submitting entries can be found on our submissions page.

And that just about covers October. Keep checking back to Inkblots regularly so you never miss a post, and you can always follow us on Twitter or Facebook too. Also, before I forget and in aid of National Poetry Day, here’s a link to see a snippet of the BBC’s Dylan Thomas animated poem, The Hunchback in the Park. Narrated by Michael Sheen, you can catch the full animation on BBC iPlayer or BBC One Wales later in October, which marks the centenary of the poet’s birth.

Have a fab October – don’t get too spooked!

– Silver, Inkblots Editor

Monthly Editorial: August’s Content Looks To A Grand Performance

Edinburgh sees the final weekend of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival - Edinburgh, Scotland, UK - 29th August 2009.

Street Acts are everywhere during Edinburgh’s Fringe Festival Image // Wiki Commons

Hey Inkblotters!

Now that August has arrived we’ve got a month full of brand new content, but first I’ll turn your attention to our undercurrent theme for the next four weeks. While June saw festival season kicking off and July welcomed in a time of dedication for our sporting heroes, August’s theme will bridge the gap between both of these and bring in a grand performance. There’s always so much happening during the summer months – both Edinburgh’s Fringe Festival and London have street acts, plus there’s lots of open-air theatre whenever the sun makes an appearance. So in order to celebrate this incredibly lively time during the superb British heat wave, we’re publishing content that reflects a great performance.

As always we’ve got our regular content scheduled and it kicks off on the 5th with regular contributor Terrestris Veritas’s HHC piece named “Race”. With its fast-paced action and around-the-clock excitement rivalling the Ascot races, you won’t want to miss out. Next up on the 8th is new contributor Juwan Cross’s exceptional poem “I am the Night” and further along into the month we’ll see more of Ashcloud’s fantastic poetry, as well as Rob’s humorous HHC shorts.

If you didn’t catch our recent news post, we’ve had a small update to our submissions page which includes our new email address. You’ll also find all the guidelines for submitting a Fiction Frenzy/ HHC piece there. Speaking of the FF, it’s still running until August 31, so make sure you email your entries into us with either the theme Carnage or Virtual Reality, or a bit of both. This month’s Half Hour Challenge theme is Freakshow, so you can now get cracking on the theme.

And just as a reminder to all our regular readers, there will be no content in September, but we’ll back in October with the theme “fear” – apt for Hallowe’en.

Have a lovely August/September!

– Silver, ‘Blots Editor

Monthly Editorial: Focusing On Dedication In July’s Content

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Fancy a bit of a warm up? Image // BBC

Hey Inkblotters!

As June’s content and theme passes, July’s is now upon us and we’ve got a new theme to boot. Since the sporting season is here – what with the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and Wimbledon’s annual two-week stint on the BBC – our theme this month reflects the commitment sportsmen and sportswomen must have in order to succeed and achieve splendid results in their chosen careers. Putting matters of money and sponsorship deals aside, athletes work hard to be the very best they can – 5am wake-up calls, swim sessions, and gritting their teeth through bad weather to head out for a morning run. But it’s not just athletes who dedicate themselves to sport, what about the regular individuals who just do it for fun? So this month we’re tackling the theme of “dedication” through sport, an homage full of admiration, or with dedication to an event in history – we’re going to cover the theme from all angles.

First up we’ve got a wonderful HHC entry by Dice in his Alexander episodic shorts on the 5th. Written in relation to the 70th anniversary of D-Day, Dice’s Summer 1943 is definitely not one to miss. On the 8th, poetry whizz Ashcloud takes us on a journey with a knight as an homage to her closest friend; consider us fans already. Then a little further into the month on the 20th, new contributor but forum veteran Fuzzyears takes snippets from song lyrics and recreates her own for us. But you know the drill by now, keep checking back to see much more Inkblots content throughout July.

For those who follow our Twitter, you may have seen a small tease that the Fiction Frenzy will be returning – well, it has and it’s returned for TWO entire months this time. Throughout July until August 31, the FF will be open to everyone. You can check out the rules on our Inkwell forum, here, for more info. Also, seen as the competition will be running for two months, I couldn’t help but give our members two themes to go with it. So get writing some awesome entries for Virtual Reality and Carnage. If you’re looking to send us your entry, just check out the submissions page for rules and guidelines and, more importantly, our email!

Finally, seen as you’re probably getting sick of me babble on, our new Half Hour Challenge theme is Chase. Since I’ve been re-watching One Tree Hill episodes, I can only think of the character named Chase who wants to be a pilot. But hey, I’m sure you (our lovely readers and contributors) will think of much better HHC entries than the above.

Until next time!

– Silver,  Inkblots Editor 

Monthly Editorial: Festival Season Kicks Off In Style With June’s Content

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Rainforest World Music Festival, Borneo Image // rwmf.net

Hey Inkblotters!

Here in the UK, we’re well-known for our rainy days, nights, weekends and months. Many, if not all, of you will have heard of April’s Showers, but what about Monsoon June? About four or five years ago, many parts of the UK were hit with torrential downpours, resulting in flooded homes and a lot of disgruntled and upset home-owners during this month. It was devastating for the people involved, plus it created a substantial headache for the government. Flood guards were put in place and erected over the course of time, but it wasn’t enough to deter the rain in early January. While North America were plagued with sub-zero temperatures, the UK was hit with more flood warnings than we could count. As always, it looks like we’re in for more rain this June, but hopefully we’ll get some of the sizzling hot sunshine too.

With the beginning of June, a whole host of festivals kick-start their “feel-good welly” campaigns. Whether it’s music at Leeds and Glastonbury that rocks your world or the bluesy tunes in Wales, there’s something for everyone. But though music festivals are a big part of the summer, there’s also the folk festivals with ceilidh dancing, as well as the arts and crafts shows to wander around. So, in aid of the festival season, content for June will be under the theme “Free Spirit”.

Due for publication on the 5th is Rae-Chan’s Half Hour Challenge, “Wings” – a simple yet elegant poem on the theme of flight, absolutely gorgeous. Following on from Rae-Chan’s work, we’ve got new poetry from returning contributor Ashcloud on the 8th, with “One Day at a Time”, along with “Messages” from Elanor Rose on the 20th, which I’ve heard is due for publication just before her birthday – fabulously timed! And as always, there are lyrics, short fiction and even more poetry to come this month.

Our theme for the Half Hour Challenge this month comes from our wonderful forum admin Lilith (as per usual) and is titled: Summer Haze. Make sure you check out submissions page in the header above for all the rules and guidelines concerning HHC submissions.

And finally, I just want to thank all our followers for all your likes/comments on our content – our contributors really appreciate it. We recently hit the 600 mark and I, personally, just can’t thank you enough for the support.

Have a great June!

– Silver, Inkblots Editor

 

Monthly Editorial: May’s Star Wars-Inspired Science Fiction Special

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Because who doesn’t love a good Star Wars meets Star Trek meets HP meme?

Hey Inkblotters!

May welcomes not one, but two great Bank Holiday weekends to enjoy, and what better way to shirk off the downright depressing news of late by spending it outside – whether that’s a pub lunch with cider, beer, cocktails and wine, or maybe heading down to a community craft fair at your local park. But the one thing we hate, and it’s prevalent, is the feeling that Tuesday is the new Monday. “Oh woe is me”, says the office worker, while the pub/bar/retail worker grins and spends their Tuesday off watching a Breaking Bad marathon. However, for those who like to wind down and read, we’ve got some fantastic content planned for this month.

In honour of a new Star Wars cast and a return to the movies, we have our very own sci-fi theme planned, entitled: May the Force Be With You: A Science Fiction Special. Although we’ve not got anything planned for the 4th – I know, I’m very sorry, guys – we do have a wonderful Alexander short from Dice coming up on the 5th. Next, we’ll (laser)beam you straight into space with Doishy’s “The Sound of Silence” on the 12th, where no one can hear you scream. And on the 16th, new contributor Nonexistent Rose shows us the true meaning of ‘seeing is believing’. As usual, we’ve got a mix of poetry, HHCs and short fiction for all your science fiction needs.

Seen as we’re close to the summer holidays, many families are gearing up to jet off for their lazy two weeks abroad with the kids. However, some of us like to avoid the expensive time of the year and head off on our break a little early. May’s HHC is aptly named, Taking Flight, and we’re hoping to see some interesting and diverse entries for this one.

So until next month, enjoy the content and the Bank Holidays!

– Silver, Inkblots Editor

Monthly Editorial: Simple Pleasures in April’s Content

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How adorable are these chicks? Simple pleasures. Image Courtesy of Will Merydith

Hey Inkblotters!

The chocolate egg-fuelled month has arrived once again and cries to our slim-ish waistlines we’ve worked so hard to keep up throughout the turn of a new year. There’s no escaping the chocolate bonanza as supermarkets shove vividly coloured foiled wrappers in our faces, enticing us into a dreamy, liquid pool, while slapping devilish prices on Easter Eggs that are just too tempting to refuse. But even if you won’t be chowing down on a bunch of eggs this Easter, you can take delight in our content for April.

In aid of the month ahead, the theme for our scheduled content reflects “Simple Pleasures” – whether it’s a film and a takeaway, watching the sunrise on your commute to work each morning, or maybe even looking through old photographs on a lazy Sunday, simple pleasures are always with us in our lives. Sometimes just looking at the moon and stars on a clear night gives me goosebumps – the good kind, of course. So for April’s light-hearted month, Eruantien’s short poem “An Address to the Coconut” is sure to get you chuckling on the 8th, while Dice’s fictional piece “Only a Smile”  coming up on the 12th looks at two strangers accounts on a train, delivering amusing results. On the 20th, Elanor Rose gives us a snippet of both past and future fusing together in her poem “Video” and, to round off the month, Ricardo’s “The Start Of Something Beautiful” is a fictional short with a simply gorgeous ending. And as always, there’s much more.

To tie in with Easter, our half hour challenge theme this month is: Chocolate. If you’ve yet to enter a submission for our monthly HHC you can find all the details in our submissions page. We’ve had some great responses to past challenges, so we’d love to hear from you.

Once again thanks to all our readers, followers and contributors – you’re all stars. Have a great April!

– Silver, Inkblots Editor

Overton Poetry Prize Looking For Submissions, Your Chance To Be Published

Overton_Poetry_PrizeLoughborough University’s Bill Overton – an English professor who specialised in poetry – died in September 2012 after suffering from a long-term illness. In honour of his career, the university has set up the Overton Poetry Prize after raising funds through a special memorial fund. So why am I telling you all of this? Well, if you love writing poetry – and I know a lot of our readers/contributors do – then it’s your chance to be published. Amongst the judges is Sarah Jackson, winner of the Seamus Heaney Prize in 2013, who will undertake the final judging. Below you’ll find all the details for entry, plus if you’d like more information about the Overton Poetry Prize, please visit the link, here. Good luck!

  • Entry fee is ÂŁ10 per submission
  • Submissions can be a sequence of poems on any subject (up to 300 lines)
  • Participants must be over 16-years-old
  • Competition is worldwide, but submissions must be in the English language
  • Closes on March 31st, 2014

Prizes

  • First prize is the publication of the winning sequence in chapbook form
  • Two runners-up prizes of ÂŁ50 each

*All rights will remain with the author, but Loughborough University will retain the right to feature the winning poems on their website.

Monthly Editorial: Oscar Season and March’s Content

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Wonder what drama will take place tonight? Get us that popcorn!

Hey Inkblotters!

Welcome to the monthly editorial for March, where we’ve put aside our tea and biscuits this Sunday for an extravagant night of glitz and glamour with the Oscars Ceremony. As a film fanatic, I can’t help but watch with bated breath as to who will win the Academy Award for Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Actress, as well as all the others. But, as with every year, there’s some serious competition. As much as I’d like to see Leonardo DiCaprio awarded for his tremendously talented and comical performance in The Wolf of Wall Street, the Academy will most probably opt for the big-hitting transformational performances from Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years A Slave) or Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club). Maybe the Academy will surprise us this year, though?

So in honour of the biggest bash in Hollywood, we’ve selected this month’s content under the theme: Transformations and Despair. Powerful transformations don’t just happen on-screen, they happen on paper too, and it’s not just physical transformations we’re looking at, it’s also the emotional transformation of the mind. To kick off our content on the 5th, we’ve got Rae-Chan’s “An Ode to Low Self-Esteem” from last month’s HHC – it’s a cracking poem, and one which many of us can relate to. Next up is new contributor Lockmaker and her Dear Mister Nice Guy satirical poem on the 8th and, mid-way through March, Magnificent Mayhem’s “I & You” brings a taste of the sinister and sweet in her short poem. And of course, there’s so much more!

This month’s Half Hour Challenge theme is Servant – a delightful and different theme chosen by my co-editor Lilith. If you’ve got an itching to send us through a HHC, remember to check out our submission page for all the details.

And last but not least, between January and February Inkblots hit the 500 reader mark! Thanks to all our followers, whether you’ve just joined us in the last couple of months, or have been here since the beginning, you guys are awesome! 🙂

– Silver, Inkblots Editor